A former Arroyo Grande city councilman accused of domestic violence, possessing child pornography and other charges waived his right to a preliminary hearing Tuesday, setting the stage for a trial in his criminal case.
Ed Arnold, 45, faces five charges — including domestic violence and assault with a deadly weapon — relating to an alleged attack in December on a woman who had been living with him and his wife in their Arroyo Grande home.
After an investigation of his computer, he was also accused of two felony charges of possessing child pornography and using a minor for pornographic images.
Investigators allegedly found pictures on a computer of underage naked girls and a video of a 16-year-old foreign-exchange student from Spain who was showering.
Never miss a local story.
Arnold has pleaded not guilty to all charges, and his San Luis Obispo attorney, Ilan Funke-Bilu, said that he’s preparing for “a battle” to defend his client.
Funke-Bilu said that the decision to avoid a preliminary hearing — which decides whether the evidence is sufficient to go to trial on the charges — was made to avoid wasting court time and money.
Arnold is scheduled back in court Oct. 5 for an arraignment on the charges.Both Funke-Bilu and Deputy District Attorney Greg Devitt declined to discuss details of the case.
According to court documents, the purported victim — the woman who had lived with him and his wife — said Arnold blamed her for the breakup of his marriage. The woman’s name is redacted from police reports.
Arnold’s wife, Kathryn Arnold, overheard him talking to the woman on the phone and threatening to kill her, according to a police report. Ed Arnold is accused of hitting the woman with a metal club.
Ed Arnold has previously said in a statement that the allegations and divorce are being intermingled. He accuses his wife of using public humiliation against him as part of ongoing divorce proceedings.
Arnold denied to police he ever threatened to kill the woman who was living with him and his wife. But he acknowledged a struggle with her after going to the home to speak with the woman about his marital situation, according to the report.